• Montrose Basin Tern Raft

    Scottish Wildlife Trust | Montrose Basin Local Nature Reserve



    This project provides a dedicated nesting raft for Arctic and Common Terns in the Montrose Basin Local Nature Reserve. This encourages the birds to breed in the safety of the reserve and diverts them from urban areas where they can cause disruption.

    What changes can people expect to see in the catchment as a result?

    This project will lead to increased activity in Common and Arctic Terns at Montrose Basin, including nesting and fishing.

    What benefits do the works have for the catchment, the local community, biodiversity etc.?

    Both Arctic and Common Terns prospected the nest site in its first year, but only Common Terns established nests there. In subsequent years, only Common Terns have approached the raft.

    The nesting effort on the raft has fluctuated greatly since 2008, with 2011 being the most successful year to date with 150 hatchlings. In 2012 and 2013 breeding was attempted and eggs observed, however nests were thought to have flooded during the heavy continuous rainfall experienced.

    How are you involving the local community?

    Scottish Wildlife Trust volunteers assist in the maintenance of the tern raft prior to each breeding season. These volunteers also help with monitoring tern activity on the raft.

    The wider public also benefit from being able to view the behaviour of Common and Arctic Terns from the Scottish Wildlife Trust Montrose Basin Visitor Centre and to learn more about the species from staff and volunteers present.  This in turn engages visitors with wetlands in a wider context.


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    Time scale

    The raft was installed in 2008. Maintenance and monitoring are ongoing.


    GlaxoSmithKline provided £10,000. Further funding was provided by Scottish Natural Heritage.

    How the work fits with local and national policy

    The project reflects the Scottish Wildlife Trust policy to: “safeguard a broad representation of wildlife found throughout Scotland, and to act as examples to others and for the public benefit including enjoyment, information and education”.

    The project compliments the objectives of the River South Esk Catchment Management Plan, the Tayside Local Biodiversity Action Plan, and the Esk Rivers & Fisheries Trust Bio Security Plan.

    More information: